As we explored Venice further, we eventually found ourselves on Morano, the island made famous by its magnificent glass-blown sculptures. The streets, we had noticed, were peppered with the same pattern that seems to appear all over Venice: gift shops and expensive food. The only difference here was
that Morano gift shops only offered glass-based gifts; every single shop was either for glass or for food. It makes me wonder how a Venetian can live comfortably here without the amenities of nearby grocery shops or pharmacies. Taken further, I began to wonder even more how the island could survive economically under the conditions that we have witnessed; if every store is a glass blowing or food store, how do some survive and prosper while others die out? Without any commercial diversity, it seems even more unreal that Venice (whose current existence is still nothing short of astounding, considering it was essentially built on water), has managed to support itself for as long as it has already.
Regardless of my inward thoughts, we trekked to a local restaurant, and sat down to order some food and drink. In Venice, my order has always been a mystery: although I am well equipped to read and order in Italian, no two dishes are alike. Because of this, I have grown especially weary of my orders. Fortunately, the calzone I ordered this time was safe enough to pass as a normal-tasting dish, without any surprises (i.e., a weird-tasting cheese or unidentifiable object). However, the most interesting part of the order I placed was the cappuccino; it tasted bland and poorly made, and despite the apparent negativity of my commentary, this was actually a pleasant surprise. Back in Arizona, I used to make my own coffee, starting with coffee straight from the pot. Yet no matter how hard I tried, my coffee would always come out tasting awful. The very same awful taste was found in my Venetian cappuccino that I drank this morning, and it reminded me of home. I loved it, because I have not been home since Christmas, and I still don’t know when I’m going to be able to see it again. Today, a small slice of Arizona surfaced in my coffee, and in a way, it was like taking a vacation from vacation.